When arrested for a crime, you can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. A misdemeanor may be a less severe charge than a felony, but can still have a considerable impact on your life. Depending on the crime you can face heavy fines, potential jail time, and/or probation. Most people who have been arrested and charged with a misdemeanor have never committed a crime before. The misdemeanor charge may be the only charge they ever face in their life, but a criminal conviction will stay on their record for the rest of their life.
Classes of Misdemeanors
Most crimes in Arizona can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony based on the circumstances of the crime, but some of the most common misdemeanors committed in Arizona include DUI, shoplifting, criminal trespassing, reckless driving and assault. A misdemeanor charge is categorized into one of three different classes depending on the crime and any previous criminal convictions, with a Class 1 Misdemeanor being the most serious with the most severe punishments.
Class 1 Misdemeanor
- Maximum Jail Time – Up to 6 Months
- Maximum Fine – $2500
- Maximum Probation Length – 3 Years
Class 2 Misdemeanor
- Maximum Jail Time – Up to 4 Months
- Maximum Fine – $750
- Maximum Probation Length – 2 Years
Class 3 Misdemeanor
- Maximum Jail Time – Up to 30 Days
- Maximum Fine – $500
- Maximum Probation Length – 1 Year
Minors and Misdemeanors
When children under the age of 18 are charged with a misdemeanor offense it is considered a “delinquent act” by the Juvenile Crimes Division of the Maricopa county attorney’s office. Children charged with misdemeanor offenses are taken before a judge who will determine the best course of action for that child. While there are no mandatory sentencing rules for juvenile crimes, consequences for minor offenders are often less serious than if an adult were charged with the same offense. The state of Arizona’s goal is to find a punishment that conveys the seriousness of the crime, but also rehabilitates the youth offender. Often, first time offenders are eligible for diversion programs that can include education, apology letters and community service.
The Kyle T. Green Approach to Misdemeanor Defense
Whether you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor before or this is your first time, the help of an experienced Arizona attorney is an invaluable asset. I’ve been defending clients for many years against both misdemeanor and felony charges. I will help you through the defense process while protecting your rights and explaining what to expect next.
My years working as a prosecuting attorney gives me unique insight as to what the court and prosecutors will be focusing on and how they will want to proceed. No matter how big or small you think your misdemeanor charge is, having me by your side can impact the outcome of your case. Please, do not hesitate to call my office at 480-331-7568 or fill out the sidebar contact form for a free case review.